Union Revitalization: How Women and Men Officers See the Relationship Between Union Size and Union Tolerance for Sexual Harassment

  • Steven MellorEmail author
  • Lisa M. Kath


Larger memberships resulting from union mergers and consolidations have heightened the issue of union responsiveness to economic and noneconomic needs of members. In this study, we focused on a gender-moderated relationship between union size and perceived union tolerance for sexual harassment, in which low perceived tolerance (a desirable outcome) was anticipated as a noneconomic need relevant to union women. Data were collected from women and men officers (N = 120) in various unions. Officers were viewed as well-positioned informants on tolerance in relation to union policies and practices. As hypothesized, the data confirmed that women in larger unions rated tolerance significantly higher (an undesirable outcome) than women in smaller unions. No such tolerance variation was found for men in relation to smaller and larger unions. Implications for union revitalization and future research on union size are discussed.


Perceived union tolerance for sexual harassment Union size Women and men union officers Noneconomic needs of union members Union psychology 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animals Rights

All procedures used in this study involving participants are in accordance with the ethical standards of the first author’s institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study in the form of an information sheet.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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